Mmegi Online :: Opposition turmoil: a lifeline for BDP
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Last Updated
Wednesday 22 May 2019, 19:50 pm.
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Opposition turmoil: a lifeline for BDP

If opposition parties are going to the polls divided in 2019, then the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) will have a free ride to power. Already there is indication that a new party is looming, which is a breakaway from the Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD).
By Tsaone Basimanebotlhe Fri 15 Sep 2017, 13:38 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Opposition turmoil: a lifeline for BDP








Batswana had a hope that Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) will be their answer come 2019, more than they had hoped in the 2014 general elections. But the fights within the BMD have affected the opposition parties to a point that trust is no longer in existence amongst leaders.

This is so because many had thought UDC leader Duma Boko will declare that he supports his vice president Ndaba Gaolathe when BMD fights got out of control. Boko took his time hoping that the last born of Botswana’s political parties will see which way to go to sort its internal disputes.

A continued standoff between BMD factions will definitely have impact on UDC and ultimately give the BDP the edge to retain its strongholds and strengthen in some constituencies that the opposition won with slim margins.

The combination of Botswana National Front (BNF) and Botswana Congress Party (BCP) could do well in some constituencies because of existing structures between the two parties. Even though the BCP did not have a good number of MPs in Parliament, in the last two elections, their popular vote

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has grown at a very impressive rate from 2009.

It was evident after the 2014 general elections that many Batswana believed that a united opposition would strengthen the country’s democracy and instil a culture of accountability.

The seeming punishment of parties that refuse cooperation is an ancient practice in Botswana politics since BNF has also tasted the medicine when it showed no interest in that arrangement of the 2004 elections. At the time, BCP entered into cooperation with Botswana Alliance Movement.

The BCP suffered a huge setback in 2014 when it opted to go alone and not being part of the UDC.

The proposed new party, which is linked to Gaolathe, should be prepared to swallow the bitter pill if it decides to go solo and not being part of UDC. The new party will be forced to look for funds to build structures and to tour the country in order to sell their ideology at the same time when ‘older’ parties are campaigning for 2019.

Percentages of the popular vote since

In 2004 

BDP:  50.63%

BNF: 25.51%

BCP: 16.27%

 

2009

BDP: 53%

BNF: 21.94%

BCP: 19.5%

BPP: 1.39%

 

2014

BDP :46.45%

UDC: 30.1%

BCP: 20.43%

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